Morning Brief

Yellen and Trump Russian questions dominate attention on Wall Street

Key Points


U.S. stock futures were higher this morning, ahead of the first of two days of congressional testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen today, and amid continued questions about Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer. (CNBC)

With Yellen expected to emphasize the need to hike interest rates and begin shrinking its balance sheet before the end of the year, there's more chatter that Trump economic advisor and Goldman Sachs alum Gary Cohn is the leading candidate to succeed Yellen. (CNBC & Politico)

* Beige book economic report at 2 p.m. ET (The Fed)
* Mortgage apps tank on higher home loan rates (CNBC)
* Weekly oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET (Energy Department)

U.S. oil prices, which have been beaten down recently, were sharply higher this morning after a cut in the government's forecast for crude production next year raised hopes of an easing in the global supply glut. (CNBC)


Donald Trump Jr. told Fox News he did not tell his father about a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign. "I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff," he added. (CNBC)

* Trump Jr. offers to testify under oath (The Hill)
* 'In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently' (Fox News)
* Senate Judiciary chair wants to know how Russian lawyer entered US (Reuters)

President Donald Trump applauded his eldest son's "transparency" after Trump Jr. released his emails that set up a June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney. An intermediary said the lawyer had dirt on Hillary Clinton. (CNBC)

Christopher Wray, the president's FBI director nominee, faces a confirmation hearing today that's likely to focus on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. Wray was a top DOJ official during the George W. Bush presidency. (AP)

Senate GOP leaders, who delayed their August recess by two weeks, expect to unveil their new Obamacare replacement bill tomorrow and vote on it next week, regardless of the deep divisions in the party. (NY Times)

Apple (AAPL) is reportedly working to fix software bugs affecting its next flagship iPhone, possibly called the iPhone 8. Separately, Apple is setting up its first China data center in the southern province of Guizhou. (Fast Company & Reuters)

As Tesla (TSLA) begins a pivotal launch of its first mass-market car, the Model 3, the electric automaker plans to triple its repair capacity, adding 1,400 technicians, dozens of new service centers, and hundreds of maintenance vans. (WSJ)

Japan's Takata, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, is adding to its massive recall. The latest move affects 2.7 million inflaters on the driver's side of some Ford, Mazda, and Nissan vehicles. (NY Times)

Makers of cardiac defibrillators, insulin pumps, breast implants, and other medical devices might be able to delay reporting dangerous malfunctions to the FDA under an agreement heading for a vote in Congress. (NY Times)

FanDuel is considering whether to drop its proposed merger with fantasy sports rival DraftKings after a decision by the FTC to challenge the deal in court. FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said the company is "evaluating options." (ReCode)

STOCKS TO WATCH (AMZN) said Prime Day was on track to be the biggest sales day in its history, according to the most recent figures. Third-party sellers sold over 50 percent more items than last year.

Twitter (TWTR) names former Intuit (INTU) executive Ned Segal as CFO, replacing Anthony Noto, who had been serving in that role on an interim basis in addition to his role as COO.

Wells Fargo (WFC) is selling its share registration business to Britain's Equiniti for $227 million. Separately, Wells has cut its quarterly auto loan originations by almost 30 percent in the nine months through March 31.

Symantec (SYMC) is mulling the sale of its web certificates business. The maker of antivirus and other security software could get more than $1 billion for the unit.

Dow Chemical (DOW) is selling a portion of its Brazil-based corn seed business to China's CITIC for $1.1 billion. It's part of Dow's effort to gain the country's approval for its planned merger with DuPont (DD).

ABM Industries (ABM) has agreed to buy janitorial services rival GCA Services for $1.25 billion. GCA is currently owned by Goldman Sachs (GS) and PE firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.


Coca-Cola (KO) plans to dramatically increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles. New data shows more than a million plastic bottles are bought worldwide every minute. (The Guardian)